Friends of Federated,

For the past few months the Federated has attempted to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (“Department”) to provide clarity on the inclusion of all animal shelter workers in Phase 1B of the vaccine distribution plan.

However, we’ve learned the Department is issuing very limited guidance to date on the Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan (“Plan”).

Because of this, the Federated is offering our interpretation of the plan directly to members for their review and consideration.

As per the plan, under the Non-Health Care frontline essential workers section, Food and Agriculture Workers are included in Phase 1B of the plan.

The plan relies on the definition of frontline essential workers used by Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (“ACIP”).

According to ACIP, they used CISA guidance to define frontline essential  workers.  Within CISA guidance on Food and Agriculture they highlight the following:

Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health (including those involved in supporting emergency veterinary or livestock services); raising, caring for and management of animals for food, as well as pets; animal production operations; livestock markets; slaughter and packing plants, manufactures, renders, and associated regulatory and government workforce.

Therefore, it is our interpretation that animal shelter workers, as caregivers for pets, would indeed be included in Phase 1B of the distribution plan.

Federated will issue further guidance on this important topic if and when it comes available.

Amy Kaunas
Board President
Federated Humane Societies of Pennsylvania